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ANOTNIN ARTAUD SYMPOSIUM DVD

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ANTONIN ARTAUD SYMPOSIUM
THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN
Scenario: Antonin Artaud  
Director: Germain Dulac
1927
Extremist, genius and madman, Antonin Artaud relentlessly assaulted both the aural and visual senses throughout his career, the effects and influences of which are still felt today. Yet his was a career largely overlooked by critics and frequently overshadowed by such contemporaries as Dali, Picasso, and Braque.
Artuad's portfolio is as intense as it is eclectic. It includes what is arguably the first surrealist film: The Seashell and the Clergyman which preceded Banal and Dali's Un Chien Andalou by a year, and the only theory of cinema amongst the Surrealists (despite being expelled from the group by Andre Breton). As well as line drawings executed in the lunatic asylums of France following his electro-shock treatments (one bout left him in a coma for over 90 minutes). The DVD culminates with the climax of Artaud's lifetime obsession with the human body: To have done with the judgement of God, a recording banned as inflammatory and obscene shortly before broadcast despite protestations by Jean Cocteau. Suicide came a month later.
The Seashell and the Clergyman. Dulac. 1928) La Coquille has been given the honour of being the first feminist and Surrealist film ever made And not surprisingly it has caused its fair share of controversy. The director, Germaine Dulac, used a scenario written by Antonin Artaud, but gave it her own interpretation. Artaud had initiaily wanted to play the priest (played by Alex Allin) but not to direct the film, but after the film had come out immediately started criticising Dulac for her modification of his mysoginistic and brutal scenario. According to the film journalist Wendy Dozoretz. Artaud shouted 'Mme Dulac is a cow!' at the premiere and his friends stopped the screening before storming out. La Coquille is ''...the unique product of two incongruous minds."